by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Gorsuch’s nomination was one of the most significant actions of the Trump presidency so far, and his confirmation will now have profound implications for our nation over the next several decades.
Here are four reasons why American citizens—especially Evangelical conservatives—should consider Gorsuch’s confirmation a great victory and why he might be better even than Scalia, whose place on the bench he would take.
1. He as a proven record defending religious liberty.
The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This amendment is deeply significant because it declares that every citizen is free to hold his or her own convictions about ultimate reality, align his or her life with those convictions, and do so openly and without fear.
Justice Gorsuch has a proven track record defending religious liberty, stronger in fact than Scalia’s. …
… 2. He will interpret the law rather than arbitrate morality. …
… 3. He may be willing to reject unconstitutional precedents.
The most contentious debate, however, concerns the legal principle of stare decisis. A Latin phrase, stare decisis means that judges should respect legal precedents by letting them stand instead of overturning them. It is important to note, however, that stare decisis is not found in the Constitution or the Bill or Rights; it is not the law of the land, but a “rule of thumb.” …
… Justice Gorsuch likely would not adhere strictly to stare decisis; there is reason to believe he would reject the precedent of previous SCOTUS decisions if and when he thinks the courts have gotten it wrong.
4. No Need for Mullahs on the Supreme Court
Americans—especially Evangelicals—stand to benefit from Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation. He will defend religious liberty. He will confine himself to interpreting the law rather than setting himself up as a moral arbiter. And he may be willing to overturn bad legal precedents in which former jurists set themselves up as moral arbiters.